Melbourne Ikebana Festival, 7 and 8 September

Sunday 28 June 2015

Thursday 25 June 2015

Thursday 4 June 2015

Ikebana Today 36

I have been discussing the meaning of the term, ikebana. It is a style of Ikebana developed in the Muromachi period, while Ikebana (with a Capital I) is the general term to encompass all styles of Japanese flower arrangement.

It is proposed that the original meaning of ikebana as well as Ikebana is to  give a new life to a  flower. Arranging flowers is like a ritual that gives new life to the dead cut flower. Ikebana may be comparable to a rite of passage.  

In Japan, births, marriages, coming of age and funerals are all rites of passage that signify the death of old self and rebirth of a new self. It is important to realise that the cut flower as material for Ikebana and a flower as Ikebana work are completely different. Arranging flowers may be like conducting a funeral or a marriage. In any case, that is how I define Ikebana.

The next question is “is Ikebana art?” 

This is my work, Heart,  that I exhibited for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2015. It may look simple but it was very hard to make, taking us 3 days to complete. Please visit my site to see a You Tube video of our works at the show. I’m pleased that some of my students also participated in the show.

A few notices:

My course, Japanese Aesthetics: Ikebana to Contemporary Art at RMIT University will start again in July this year. Three Ikebana papers of mine were published this month, including “Ikebana in English: Bibliographical Essay in the International Journal of Ikebana Studies, Vol.2. Please visit my site for the details.